In an exclusive interview with Eric Mackinnon of New Rock Times, Niven spoke frankly and openly about his thoughts on the forthcoming shows which will see Axl Rose and Slash join musical forces again for the first time in 22-years.
"We live in what the Chinese might call 'interesting times', began Niven when asked why now? Why this year for Guns to mend the fences which divided and eventually splintered the Most Dangerous Band in the World.
"I wish I could tell you that it is incontrovertible that Ax called Iz and said 'I have a handful of songs that we have to record and perform. I have some observations about the world I wanna get out there. I have titles like Demagogue. Illuminated. Armageddon. My Better Life. Think of it as Masonic Democracy. Lets get them done and, f*** it, lets get the old crew back together to take them on the road. Lets put that to bed at the same time.'"
"Unfortunately, all things considered, I can only assume that it's only for the money. How else to explain the lack of statements about creativity, or even who the band is? "How else to explain a ticket price of $1250 for row H." Read morehere.
"I am looking forward to the death of rap," he said, echoing statements he said to Radio.com two years ago. "I'm looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking. A song, as far as I'm concerned, is by definition lyric and melody ' or just melody."
"I'm all for anybody talking," he says of hip-hop music. "'Wild Thing' was talking: 'Wild thing, she makes my heart sing--she makes everything '' There's no melody there. That's cool' But predominantly, music is about melody and lyric, whether it's rap or doo-wop, or yeah, even rock. Rap will die," he predicted. "Next year, 10 years from now, at some point, and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy."
However, he doesn't see much that he believes in, even in his own genre. "As far as I'm concerned, rock is dead. There ain't no new bands. Foo Fighters, I love 'em, but they're a 20-year-old band. These are long-in-the-tooth bands: Nirvana, Pearl Jam. They're old bands."
He does think that rock, and music itself, could be saved by one of pop's biggest stars. "As far as I'm concerned, if Lady Gaga dropped the disco and the pole dancing and all that stuff and put together a rock band, that would be legitimate, because she's got the musical goods. She can write songs, play instruments and can actually sing. And she understands the fearless quality of spectacle. I'd love to see her do Queen-style music. She can do it. Madonna cannot." Read morehere.
Bettley reports: "Tyre blew out on me, causing me to lose control and flip the truck. Everything I own has been destroyed, but at least I walked away without a scratch. Grateful."
Asking Alexandria release The Black, their first album featuring vocalist Denis Stoff, on March 25. They've lined up two UK warm-up shows ahead of their Reading and Leeds appearances in August. See Bettley's post with a photohere.
A vinyl version follows on June 17. Along The Shadow is available to pre-order now, with The Silver String being offered as an instant download with all pre-orders. Soasin say: "Stoked to announce our new album Along The Shadow will be available May 20 on CD and digital, and June 17 on vinyl."
Last year, Soasin split with founding guitarist Justin Shekoski. Their most recent album was 2009's In Search Of Solid Ground. The band have a string of North American dates lined up for 2016, as well as a performance at London's O2 Academy Islington on April 30. Check out the new songhere.
"This album is the best thing we've done to date, and we can't wait to share it with you," says Zombie. "No, we mean it. We spent so much time putting this monster together and it's been worth it because this thing is about to explode!
"I can easily say this is my favorite album yet... no joke. Yeah I know everyone says that. But it is seriously our heaviest musical monster to date. Not since 'Hellbilly Deluxe' have I spent this long putting an album together. It was worth it."
Zombie will launch "Electric Warlock" on a previously-announced co-headlining spring US tour with Disturbed that starts in May, and will be followed by a summer trek across North America with Korn. Stream the new songhere.
"Thirty-five concerts. 17,000 motorcycle miles. Three months. One lifetime," reads the book description. "In May 2015, the veteran Canadian rock trio Rush embarked on their fortieth anniversary tour, R40. For the band and their fans, R40 was a celebration and, perhaps, a farewell.
"But for Neil Peart, each tour is more than just a string of concerts, it's an opportunity to explore backroads near and far on his BMW motorcycle. So if this was to be the last tour and the last great adventure, he decided it would have to be the best one, onstage and off.
"This third volume in Peart's illustrated travel series - following 2011's "Far And Away: A Prize Every Time" and 2014's "Far And Near: On Days Like These" - shares all-new tales that transport the reader across North America and through memories of fifty years of playing drums. From the scenic grandeur of the American West to a peaceful lake in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains to the mean streets of Midtown Los Angeles, each story is shared in an intimate narrative voice that has won the hearts of many readers.
"Richly illustrated, thoughtful, and ever-engaging, Far and Wide is an elegant scrapbook of people and places, music and laughter, from a fascinating road - and a remarkable life." Read morehere.
"Illegally downloading is all bullsh*t; it's always been bullsh*t to illegally download," blasts Bello. "But here's the idea. It's pretty easy to get music. Music is really cheap now, if you really think about it. What's so bad about going online? If you have to go online, 'cause I like CDs anyway, 'cause I'm an older guy here and I just like the idea of having something physical in your hand.
"What's wrong with a ten-dollar or a fifteen-dollar record? You can't spare that for music that you like, to support a band that you like? That's just my thing, man. I get it; that's the new way, but there's gotta be a better way."
On Adele he continues: "See, I love what Adele did. I love what she did. She just made people go out… If you want her music, go out and buy a CD. I love that. That's a great thing. So if you wanna further this…. continue this music, that's the way you support it."
One of thrash metal's Big Four, Anthrax have amassed record sales north of 10 million, facts Bello doesn't take for granted. "I can't (comprehend it)," says Bello. Read morehere.
More than 1400 fans have signed the petition to have a memorial erected in the city's Prescott Park to honor the Rainbow and Black Sabbath singer's legacy.
Arts organizer and campaign founder Brian Kelly says: "Ronnie James Dio is a hero and a champion of art and deserves to be memorialized forever on his native soil. Dio was a musician that had, and still has, a great influence on many in the music industry. Read morehere.
He passed away of undiagnosed lung cancer in January, aged 68, while the Dio offshoot outfit were gearing up to promote debut album Heavy Crown. Vivian Campbell, Vinny Appice and Andrew Freeman have all discussed how Bain's input was integral to their operation, and they've confirmed his absence had put their future in doubt.
Now guitarist Campbell, also of Def Leppard, says: "It's been a difficult decision to move forward and play without Jimmy. But Vinny, Andrew and I have decided to play a very limited number of shows with a great guest bass player." Read morehere.
Expressing feelings of burn-out and disillusionment, coupled with a fiery blast at his label and Paramore singer Hayley Williams, saw Farro spent five years in the musical wilderness.
But now he is back in the game and as he tells The Tennessean, he simply answered a calling which was impossible to ignore. "Once I left Paramore, I swore to myself I wouldn't start another band or join another one," says Farro. "I was like, 'I'm done.' I was just so tired."
Fully rejuvenated, refreshed and hungry again, Farro is back with his first solo album, 'Walkways' which he has released under the name FARRO. Now a singer/songwriter as well as a guitarist, Farro is happy again.
"I was talking to a friend of mine who said, 'Eventually, at some point, you're just going to have to sing yourself.' I was like, 'No, I'm not a singer. I don't see myself doing that.' ... Time went on, and I said, 'All right, maybe I should give it a shot,'" he explains.
"You find parts of your voice that you like, and over time, with experience, it just comes naturally. I totally believe that I was created to play music, to write it and perform it, so I have to find a way to do it." Read morehere.
But they say they'll have to scrap the Corpus Christi date on March 18 to rehearse their newly adapted set. Monuments say: "Due to some very serious personal issues, our man Chris will not be making it out with us on The Contortionist tour. He needs some time to get these issues taken care of - and we respect that and want to give him the time to get his head straight.
"We will be moving forward with the tour anyway and will be doing it instrumental. This is something we've had to do a few times already - so we are confident that we will smash it and make you all proud.
"To make it a little more awesome for our friends out there, and to make up for the lack of vocals, we will play some lesser performed tracks from Gnosis and The Amanuensis albums and we will also be playing two new tracks from album no.3." Read morehere.
He tells TeamRock: "That could have been any day. That could have been any album. It could have happened on every record we've ever recorded. People are too emotional about their lives. I see it in my lives and my friends' lives, technology has given people so much information and it should have been something that freed us up and be more rational. Instead everyone is more emotional and stressed, and so heavily invested in the behavior of other people.
"Remember before all this communication? When you didn't have your friends and a bunch of strangers feed coming into your life and you could just enjoy your own life without hearing about all this stuff all the time?
"You just got on with your life and your problems and it was all fine. So people need to cool off." Read morehere.
Anderson says: "Music is always the driving force in my life. Working with such a wonderful musician as Roine Stolt made the creation of this album very unique,we are very excited with the release of Invention Of Knowledge."Stolt adds: "It is not aiming at being new Yes music, just new music - modern and classical, rock, tribal and orchestrated, grooving and floating.
"Hopefully in the true spirit of progressive - leaning forward, surprising and also comforting with familiar run-arounds. We've been 'inventing' as we go along - Jon is an endless source of new ideas." Read morehere.
"Well, I've retired from Motley Crue; that's no more," Neil tells Eyes Of The Game sports radio host Helen Yee. "But I've got 70 solo shows starting April 29th 'til the end of the year, so I'll be touring. It never gets old."
There is one date confirmed and on sale via Ticketmaster - a July 29 show at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, CA with Queensryche and Great White.
The singer's live band includes Slaughter members Dana Strum on bass, guitarist Jeff Blando and drummer Zoltan Chaney - all three appeared on Neil's latest album, 2010's "Tattoos & Tequila." Read morehere.
Says Chris Difford: "The song was originally inspired by David Hockney's painting My Parents - it's about parents finding themselves empty of life after their children have left home and they have nothing more in common. Getting dressed as a woman didn't come easy for me, but I took one for the team."
The band will also reissue their 1978 single Goodbye Girl on colored vinyl as part of this year's Record Store Day on April 16. Watch the new 'Nirvana' music videohere.
He tells Rolling Stone: "The idea of getting up and playing an album that was never meant to be played live in that sequence smacks of consumerism. That stuff is the dregs of the music business. I have a hard time believing that everybody out there doing it really wants to do it.
"I think it's played itself through. I think the fans have already grown bored with it, best I can tell. You don't see as much of it as you saw a couple years ago." Read morehere.
Paul McCartney recently paid tribute to the late producer, saying: "I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family."
Martin died at home aged 90 earlier this month. Affectionately known as 'The Fifth Beatle', the music mogul famously signed the Fab Four in 1962 and produced all their hit singles.
He also worked with artists including Sting, Stevie Wonder, Gerry And The Pacemakers and Shirley Bassey while producing more than 700 records, winning a string of Grammys. Read more and watch the videohere.
KISS Rocks Vegas followed in the footsteps of several other rockers who paved the way with successful extended Vegas runs - including Carlos Santana, Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Rod Stewart and Meat Loaf, among others.
Now, the band brings "KISS Rocks Vegas" to the theaters around the globe, complete with exclusive interviews and footage you will only see in the cinema.
"See us on the big screen with the awesome power of surround sound," says Paul Stanley. "Feel like you are in Vegas and don't be shy to 'shout it out loud!'" Read morehere.
The singer is a well known fan of the original King of Rock N' Roll but he is unsure if the musical love would be reciprocated if the King were alive today. "Oh I don't know," smiles Poulsen. "I think he might like and be able to relate to some of our songs but some others he might feel like smashing his record player with a hammer."
Speaking to Eric Mackinnon of the New Rock Times about his great musical loves, many of which have been inked onto his skin, he admits to finding it surreal when fans initially showed him their Volbeat tattoos.
The Volbeat singer has tributes to Elvis Pressley, Johnny Cash and Social Distortion etched on his own body so he while he can relate to fans following suit with tributes to his own band it still leaves him surprised. Read morehere.
Turner says: "This new Sunstorm album is the best of the series. We went harder, stronger and heavier than ever before without losing the integrity of what the project is about. I call it melodic metal. The songs are very well crafted, the messages are profound, the performances amazing, and the sound is incredible."
The singer spoke out against his former Deep Purple bandmates last month, after the current lineup refused to perform with previous members including Ritchie Blackmore.
He also called the current incarnation of his former group Rainbow a 'cover band', after his year-long effort to reunite past members of the group with Blackmore failed. Stream the songhere.
Frontman Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth said: "We are happy to announce we are coming back to the UK to thrash it up with our cousins across the Pond. The Wrecking Crew comes your way next April, kicking off in Birmingham on the 5th. So mark the dates and remember - I'm easily disappointed. Over the wall, boys and give 'em the cold steel."
Overkill released career anthology HistoriKill: 1995-2007 in October, which can be purchased via Nuclear Blast. The band's last studio album was 2014's White Devil Armory. Stream the songhere.
The album is mixed by Tim Palmer and mastered by Maor Appelbaum and features other guests including Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls of The Wonder stuff, Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders, Rebuplica singer Saffron and MGT's former Mission bandmate Wayne Hussey.
As well as his work with The Mission, MGT has appeared on albums by Tricky, Gary Numan, Al Jourgensen, PJ Harvey, Prong and Alanis Morissette.
He says: "Having been a member of The Mission for many years, I have a longstanding relationship with Gero Herrde and SPV, a great independent label who have released several of our albums and live DVDs over the years." Read morehere.
The European festival date was part of the group's world tour in support of their 17th album, 2014's "Redeemer of Souls." The record marked guitarist Richie Faulkner's studio debut with Priest after he replaced founding member K.K. Downing following his retirement in 2011.
"Battle Cry" will be available on a 15-track CD, with the entire show on Blu-ray and DVD (running over 94 minutes), as well as digital audio and video formats.
The DVD and Blu-ray also contains three bonus tracks shot in Poland last December. "Halls Of Valhalla" is the fourth tune previewed from the package, following "Breaking The Law", "Metal Gods" and "The Hellion/Electric Eye." Watch the new videohere.
The blind blues rock guitarist died in March, 2008, at the age 41 after a three-year battle with sarcoma cancer. Jeff Healey Estate co-administrators Cristie Healey and Roger Costa previously said:
"This has been a true labor of love for us from beginning to end and we're absolutely thrilled to be able to finally share this significant release with the world." Check out the songhere.
Glovsky and his father Scott, a 30-year Springsteen fanatic, were at the show standing behind the stage. The nine-year-old hung a sign that stated "Bruce, I will be late to school tomorrow please sign my note :)." According to Backstreets.com, Scott explained, "As Bruce walked off stage after the show, he looked up and saw my son's sign… he pointed to us and pointed to one of the security crew. About three minutes later, security came to our seats and escorted us backstage."
He continued: "We waited outside Bruce's dressing room, then he came to the door and invited us in. Although there were many musicians and celebrities at the concert, we were the first people to see Bruce after the show. He said, 'There's the big guy!' to my son. It was just the three of us. He then said, 'I understand that you need a note, I think I can help you out.'" Read morehere.
Vedder hails the band for breaking down barriers and setting the standard for modern rock bands to follow while he also dubs them the best live band in the world.
He tells Rolling Stone: "The Who began as spectacle. They became spectacular. Early on, the band was in pure demolition mode; later, on albums like 'Tommy' and 'Quadrophenia', it coupled that raw energy with precision and desire to complete musical experiments on a grand scale."
Reflecting on the first time he heard the legendary band as a starry eyed nine-year-old he reveals: "I was around nine when a babysitter snuck 'Who's Next' onto the turntable. The parents were gone. The windows shook. The shelves were rattling. Rock & roll. That began an exploration into music that had soul, rebellion, aggression, affection. Destruction. And this was all Who music." Read morehere.
Guitarist Peter Buck says: "We were in Bergen, Norway (in 2008). I really like Bergen. I wanted to see the town. I had four hours off. Instead, we had a three-hour band meeting. I was really pissed off.
"We were talking about adding some shows to the tour. It was a lot of money, but I didn't want to go. I won't say where it was. I looked at them and said, "If this is our last tour, I don't want to end with two half-full shows in a state you couldn't pay me to set foot in." And they went, "OK."
He goes on: "The last show - we were in Mexico City. We're like the Beatles there. It was great for us. And I went, "This is kind of sad." And Michael goes, "Yeah, a little. We're probably never going to play these songs again." And I went, "You might be right."
"But we were doing the last record, [2011's] Collapse Into Now. We hadn't made an announcement or anything. We got together, and Michael said, "I think you guys will understand. I need to be away from this for a long time."
"And I said, "How about forever?" Michael looked at Mike, and Mike said, "Sounds right to me." That's how it was decided." Read morehere.
I've always been a huge fan of the southern rock songs that feature swagger, bravado, and braggadocio as a major storytelling element. I love songs like The Black Crowes' version of "Hard to Handle," "Street Fighting Man" or "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones, the Elvis version of "Steamroller Blues," "Pick‐Up Truck" by Kings of Leon, any number of Johnny Cash songs, "Rumble in Brighton" by the Stray Cats... In my song, "Don't Mind," It's obviously the voice of a trash talking fighter challenging an opponent to a duel and using some colorful insults to egg him on. Muhammad Ali and Reggie Miller were expert at this in the sports world and the scene that's set in the song also kind of reminds me of the Tybalt/Mercutio fight scene in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The insults the fighter in Don't Mind is hurling at his opponent are almost Shakespearean in nature, or Yiddish even, in that they're not of common vernacular. I've never heard anyone call someone a foggy ulcer before but that's the phrase that is used in "Don't Mind."
The song of course, is not set in Elizabethan England but in the Wild West. It's gunslinger sh*t. It's about taking the law into your own hands when the authorities are corrupt and not working on the side of the just. The song is talking about vigilante justice. In an old frontier town if the sheriff wasn't enforcing the rule of law or worse, if he was complicit in criminality, you often had no choice but to deal with matters yourself, and you better be a crack shot. The international system today is exactly like the Wild West, there is no real enforcer, the only law making body, the UN, is a largely corrupt and dysfunctional body, and there are rogue villains aplenty out there.
"Don't Mind" took me a while to get to the point where I felt like I had a finished song. After I came up with the opening riff the verse flew out of my mouth, but I was having a difficult time building a bridge between the verses and the chorus. Thankfully, I've spent a good amount of time learning the rhythm guitar playing of Jimi Hendrix, and when I transitioned from an E to an E9 chord during the pre-chorus the rest of the song came right into view, I could hear the whole thing at that point, beginning to end. Most of the song was written right here in my living room on the east coast, but the finishing touches were actually put on it at a friend's house in Topanga Canyon, California where I was staying for a few weeks in the summer of 2014. The song was recorded at the end of 2015 at Virtue and Vice studios in Brooklyn, NY with producer/engineer Anthony Gallo, and we chose to release it as the lead single off of our upcoming King of the League album due out in March/April of 2016.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the group and the albumright here!
Click here to read today's full Day in Rock report